William “Bill” Dion passed away May 29, 2019 at Arbor View in Arvada, CO. He was 96 years old.
Bill was born on July 11, 1922 in Minneapolis, MN to Charles J. and Mary (Samaniski) Dion. He grew up in Minneapolis and attended St. Olaf College for two years before joining the Army Air Corps during WWII. During his time in the service Bill flew 44 combat missions as a P47 fighter pilot, and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross “for extraordinary achievement” in which he “exhibited unusual courage and superior airmanship.” He also earned the Air Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Medal, Bronze Service Star, World War II Victory Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the 405th Fighter Group. Bill never spoke of his medals when discussing his war experiences.
When he returned from the war Bill obtained his BA from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and went on to achieve his Masters in Divinity from Northwestern Theological Seminary in Minneapolis.
On December 18, 1948 Bill married his lifelong partner in love and ministry, Anne Elizabeth Harang in Belview, MN. They were married for nearly 65 years.
Bill was a pastor for many years serving Bethel Lutheran Church, Muskego, WI; Hope Lutheran, Minneapolis, MN; Our Savior’s Lutheran, Tucson, AZ; Holy Cross Lutheran, Wheat Ridge, CO; and Good Shepherd Lutheran, Claremont, CA. After his initial “retirement,” Bill and Anne moved back to Arvada, CO and he worked many more years as interim pastor at several churches in Colorado and Arizona. His final retirement was at 85 from serving as the visitation pastor at First Lutheran Church in Longmont. He was also a chaplain for the Colorado Civil Air Patrol for several years.
Bill was very involved in the churches he served, he lived for work. In his free time he enjoyed golfing, tennis and in his later years traveled extensively.
He was preceded in death by his wife Anne; his parents; one brother and three sisters.
Bill is survived by his children Matthew (Patti) Dion, Kristin Boyd, Andre (Kim) Dion, Corinne (Erik) Gosswiller, Noelle (Bill) Gordon and Gabrielle (Peter) Dion-Kindem; 18 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren and a host of friends and past parishioners who remember him fondly.
Funeral service 1:00 PM Monday June 10, 2019 at Atonement Lutheran Church in Boulder. Private family burial will take place at Ryssby Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Olaf College, Colorado Talking Book Library, St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Minneapolis, MN (Bill’s childhood church) or a charity of the donor’s choice. Visit www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com to share condolences.